Obgugoh Terundu Joy Esq.
The desire of every mother is to watch her child grow and blossom into a wonderful individual, but sometimes, that does not happen. The child dies, leaving the mother with feelings of brokenness, confusion, hurt and grief to say the very least. As a friend who cares, your heart reaches out to her. You want to be there for her, show her your support and help her through her grieving process.
Find below effectual ways to comfort a mom mourning the loss of her child….
- Be Physically Present: No one really wants to be reading condolence messages or taking condolence phone calls when she is grieving. So go over to her house and be physically present, make yourself available. Let her see you coming around, let her know that you are there for her.
- Share In Her Grief: You want to say the right things to comfort her but sometimes the real comfort comes from you not saying anything at all. Sit quietly with her, just be there.
- Let Her Cry: She has to let the grief out somehow and if she has to cry to do so, let her. Crying in itself is healing. Bottling up emotions is an unhealthy way to live and while crying would not bring back her child, it is soothing her to let it out. So sit with her, hold her and allow her cry it out.
- Don’t Tell Her She Has Grieved Enough: While there is no getting over the loss of a child, some people stop grieving sooner while others need more time. Since there is no timetable for expressing grief, let your friend grieve at her pace. That A “stopped grieving” in less than a Year is not the standard for your friend.
- Listen: The desire to say the right things sometimes is so strong that we do all the talking while the bereaved listens. But the reverse should be the case. Be the one to listen. Sit with her and let her talk it out, if she wants to. Listening shows that you acknowledge her pain, so listen compassionately. The more she talks about it, the faster her healing.
- Don’t Preach: I know you want tell her that this is the will of God, that her child’s death is for a higher purpose and that he or she is in a better place but again, she does not want to hear that, she cannot even accept it, not now. Besides, it sounds cliche.
- Offer To Help. Ask her what she needs, if there is anything that you can do for her and be willing to follow through on offering whatever support that she may require of you. Let her know that she can count on you. Assure her that you may not have the right words to say but you would listen and you would stand with her for as long as it takes.
- Don’t talk about your own loss: Having experienced a similar loss may make you feel like you know exactly how she is feeling, but people may not experience grief in the same way so don’t claim to know exactly how she is feeling. Resist the urge to recount your own loss to her. If you must, let her be the one to ask you how you coped with your loss.
In the end, there are no quick fixes to grief. Every expression of grief that wants to be felt and honoured must be allowed. Allowing your friend to grieve fully and freely in itself is part of the healing process.